S. African port operator Transnet restores some operations at Richards Bay after fire

Richards Bay Bulk Terminal. (Image courtesy of Transnet).

South African monopoly port operator Transnet said on Monday it had restored many of its operations since a fire broke out at its Richards Bay terminal last week, but that it still needed to ensure affected areas where safe before resuming others.

Richards Bay Bulk Terminal, Africa’s largest coal export facility, is one of seven commercial ports that Transnet operates. Last Friday, it declared force majeure on its operations there after a second fire broke out in a week’s time.

“The fires were contained and extinguished. .. and Transnet continues to work with all impacted stakeholders to minimise disruptions and ensure that repairs are concluded as quickly as possible,” its statement said, adding that five of seven conveyor belts were back in operation.

Transnet has not said to what extent exports of commodities, such as coal, steel and other minerals, have been affected.

“With the remainder of the conveyor belts, the port has deployed manual handling to ensure continuity of operations,” the statement said.

Last week, the company said it was investigating the cause of the fires.

(By Tim Cocks; Editing by Aurora Ellis)


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